[r-t] New method review - part II - Shipping Forecast Singles

Philip Earis pje24 at cantab.net
Fri Feb 25 22:59:17 UTC 2005

"I hope there are more reviews to come. Don't just stick to S major like 
'From the X-Files' used to do in the RW.



Birmingham University Society
Middleton, Warwickshire
St John the Baptist
Saturday, 27 November 2004 in 3hrs (8cwt)
5040 Shipping Forecast Singles
1 Samuel M Austin
2 David A C Matthews
3 Simon D G Webb (C)
Believed to be the first peal on the bells,
First Peal as Conductor,
First Peal in the method
Shipping Forecast Singles:

Shipping Forecast Singles has been described as 'my best work' by its 
inventor, Sam Austin.  A bold claim, perhaps, but one with which I fully 

Sam has created a stunning tour-de-force here, paying homage to tradition by 
sticking to just the two well-loved single(s) changes, 1 and 3, but also 
adding an avant-garde dash of the spice that is modernity to the delicate 
recipe. Sam's sense of adventure and towering intellect manifests itself in 
the method's semi-daring contemporary design, the plain course being 
essentially a 3-extent round block.  Impressively, Sam has managed to both 
come up with a line that will maintain even a mega-ringer's interest whilst 
simultaneously managing to include all the traditional roll-ups and 
near-misses in the plain course.

Whilst some might perhaps unfairly regard singles as being slightly 
restrictive, Sam brilliantly manages to dispel this notion here.  Although 
Shipping Forecast is constructed around the familiar plain-hunt plan, Sam 
builds on recent progress by Fabian Stedman, David Hull and others and uses 
the novel idea of reversing the direction of hunting. This is achieved by 
sandwiching the same change acting on consecutive rows either side of one 
extent of plain hunting. Like a jumper without a big hole in it, this method 
does its job and does it well.

Clearly improving on such a formidable method as Shipping Forecast Singles 
is a hard task.  However, after much thought and soul-searching I think I 
would be inclined to rotate the course so that it starts at what is 
currently the 13th row, thereby signaling the beginning of the course with a 
beautifully subtle sequence of notation. A minor point in any case, and I 
admit it all boils down to individual taste.

Regardless of the start, I'm sure that the three hours of pleasure obtained 
by ringing this little diamond will just fly by. The only challenge is 
finding a decent composition to bring out the music, and the unrestrictive 
falseness should fortunately not be a barrier to this. If this method 
doesn't take off, I'll be amazed.


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